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RE: Sales skill

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You might also want to take a look at "Managing the Professional Service
Firm" by David H. Maister (published by Free Press Paperbacks).  It was
recommended to me by one of the principals at my firm.  While it is
primarily a book that addresses management type issues for professional
firms, it does talk quite a bit about "marketing" issues.  It may or may
not help out.


At 12:01 PM 12/8/99 -0800, you wrote:
>Boy, this is a great question and one that probably most of us take for
>granted. Engineering is like any other business and requires strong skills
>in selling yourself as well as selling your services.
>Unfortunately, short of taking business courses at a local community college
>I don't have any short-cut answers. I don't particularly believe that books
>will help - the process involves learning how to use your personality and
>understand the personality and psychology of your clients. It's not an exact
>science. I spent six years outside of engineering in industrial sales and
>learned a great deal. The basic "must-do" include the following:
>1. Strong communication skills
>2. Good references (which is sometimes like chasing your tail as you need
>experience to get experience).
>3. A track record based on delivering what you promised - even if your
>schedule is delayed you must be consistent in insuring a clients
>4. I know that most will disagree with me on this one, but outside of
>corporate type clients appearance is not the strongest issue. If you have
>the personality to sell a client your battle is met. This does not mean that
>you should be disheveled or dirty - but sometimes jeans and tee-shirts are
>an advantage to some types of clients. Strong personalities that exude an
>air of confidence overcomes most clients concerns.
>5. Nothing works with strictly price shoppers - but then, they get what they
>paid for.
>6. A rule of thumb that works for me (every time): The harder you work to
>get a project, the less likely you are to get it.
>7. Do the best job you can and don't get trapped into worrying about the
>liability issues. If the client has a problem, solve it and then worry about
>Hope this helps a little.
>Dennis S. Wish, PE
>SEConsultant(--nospam--at) <mailto:SEConsultant(--nospam--at)>
>(208) 361-5447 Efax
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Juan C. Gray [mailto:juangray(--nospam--at)]
>Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 1999 2:52 PM
>To: seaint(--nospam--at)
>Subject: Re: Sales skill
>Does anyone know about a good reference on how to develop sales skills
>for engineering?
>Juan C. Gray